Black Box Recorder – Passionoia
CD Album, UK, 2003
One Little Indian
“British Racing Green” is almost klassic Kinks like, and therefore that alone is worth getting this album. Also sadly this was the last album by Black Box Recorder. It was a series of perfect moments, but with Facts Of Life being their masterpiece. What is interesting is that they're fully 'English' sounding via their lyrics, but musically they strike me as more European sounding. Passionoia is very much a bigger production than the other albums by Luke, Sarah, and John.
Parts of it reminds me of ABBA, which is a good thing. Luke Haines, generally speaking, is always on the tightrope between genius or missing-that-genius-mark. He's such a smart-Alec that it sometimes becomes a wall that one has to climb over to appreciate his music. But then again his stance towards or at the very least, his commentary on the contemporary world is priceless. His (their) tribute to Wham's second partner “Andrew Ridgley” is a good example how his sense of humor is at play. Haines looks at the world in a critical light, and in a way his music is like reading a small essay.
Passionoia is not my favorite album from Black Box Recorder, but still its a gem of a really good piece of work – and Haines is a person someone should follow to the end of the Earth. Also Pulp fans would find his work interesting...